Gunmen Target Undercover Officers

October 16, 2006

Los Angeles: For the third time in two weekends, a pair of undercover officers were shot at by assailants. The most recent incident happened early Sunday morning. The two prior incidents occurred the weekend before on October 6, 2006.

"We don’t think this incident is connected with any of the prior assaults on undercover officers," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "But what it does speak to is the propensity for armed assailants to confront persons on the street. By good fortune, the bad guys are in custody and the officers were not hurt."

This weekend’s shooting took place on October 15, 2006, near 12th Street and Alvarado Street, around 3:45 AM. Two patrol officers were in plain clothes and driving a plain car, working a crime suppression detail. As they drove by a group of four men, one of the men made a comment, then pulled a gun and fired at the officers.

Officers Thomas Loera, 34, and Joesph Getherall, 27, fired at their assailant from their car. The four suspects scattered in several directions. Responding officers contained them within a perimeter.

After several hours of searching by K-9 officers and SWAT members, officers arrested Cruz Ajanel, 25, and Alejandro Mendoza, 24. Both were booked for Attempted Murder of a Police Officer. Officers were unable to find the suspects’ guns.

Force Investigation Division will complete the investigation of this incident.